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Our Oceans are Changing

The ocean in the tropics, by the equator, has become must saltier over the past 40 years, while the parts of the ocean close to the poles has become less salty. This shows that major ocean currents are changing?currents that are a fundamental part of the weather system here on Earth.

How will a change in ocean currents change the world's weather? As Whitley and Art Bell wrote in The Coming Global Superstorm, the gulf stream is especially important because it flows north, making Europe much warmer than it would be otherwise. A change in ocean currents can also affect the severity of storms, droughts and floods?and well as where they'll take place. We've already had unusual droughts and floods all over the world in recent years. Last summer, swimmers along the Eastern coast complained of super cold water, which is another indication that ocean currents are changing. All of this will affect not only where people live, but where they're able to grow food.

The change in ocean currents begins when warmer weather, due to trapped greenhouse gases, heightened solar activity, and other causes, melts the ice at the poles. This newly-released freshwater dilutes the oceans, pushing the salty water toward the middle of the planet, where it concentrates, making the water in that area more salty. The salinity of the ocean in turn affects the movement of ocean currents.

To see climate change in action, click here.

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